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Letters to Gwen John

«Paul interweaves John's biography ... with accounts of her own life and lyrical readings of John's paintings ... summoning a version of the artist at her most imaginative and prolific.»

Times Literary Supplement

A unique combination of memoir and artistic biography, interspersed with original artworks, from the acclaimed artist and author of SELF-PORTRAIT.

We are both painters. We can connect to each other through images, in our own unvoiced language. But I will try and reach you with words. Through talking to you I may come alive and begin to speak.

Celia Paul has felt a lifelong connection to the artist Gwen John. There are extraordinary parallels in their lives and work. Both have always made art on their own terms. Both were involved with older male artists. Both worked hard to keep themselves and the sacred flame of their creativity from being extinguished by others.

Letters to Gwen John is Paul’s imagined correspondence with this groundbreaking painter. These intimate, passionate, haunting letters offer a unique form of memoir and conversation, and an unforgettable insight into a life devoted to making art.

'Beautiful, tender, and riveting. I have taken this book into my heart'
CLAIRE-LOUISE BENNETT

'A beguiling, singular work of art – a portrait of two lives, entwined through time and space'
DAILY TELEGRAPH

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A unique combination of memoir and artistic biography, interspersed with original artworks, from the acclaimed artist and author of SELF-PORTRAIT.

We are both painters. We can connect to each other through images, in our own unvoiced language. But I will try and reach you with words. Through talking to you I may come alive and begin to speak.

Celia Paul has felt a lifelong connection to the artist Gwen John. There are extraordinary parallels in their lives and work. Both have always made art on their own terms. Both were involved with older male artists. Both worked hard to keep themselves and the sacred flame of their creativity from being extinguished by others.

Letters to Gwen John is Paul’s imagined correspondence with this groundbreaking painter. These intimate, passionate, haunting letters offer a unique form of memoir and conversation, and an unforgettable insight into a life devoted to making art.

'Beautiful, tender, and riveting. I have taken this book into my heart'
CLAIRE-LOUISE BENNETT

'A beguiling, singular work of art – a portrait of two lives, entwined through time and space'
DAILY TELEGRAPH

Detaljer

Forlag
Vintage
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
352
ISBN
9781529919974
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
20 x 13 cm

Om forfatteren

Celia Paul is recognised as one of the most important painters working in Britain today. She was born in India in 1959, before moving to England as a young child. Her major solo exhibitions include Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als, at Yale Center for British Art (2018) and The Huntington (2019); Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, Gallery Met, New York (2015–16); and Gwen John and Celia Paul, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (2012–13). Her work was included in the group exhibition All Too Human at Tate Britain (2018), and is in many collections, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Saatchi Collection and Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Anmeldelser

«Paul interweaves John's biography ... with accounts of her own life and lyrical readings of John's paintings ... summoning a version of the artist at her most imaginative and prolific.»

Times Literary Supplement

«At once diary and confessional, biography and autobiography and something between the two... This book lets the reader into a world of sadness, loneliness and isolation. At its heart, however, is that unexpected kernel of confidence and self-belief that the author shared with Gwen John.»

Honor Clerk, Spectator

«Powerfully honest... Her voice is deceptively plain and her insights about her own art, as well as the choices she had to make as a woman, are both illuminating and full of courage... a beautiful book.»

Daily Mail

«It is really Paul who's centre stage, and she is fascinating; I do not feel, at this point, that I could ever tire of her mind, and the unlikely, singular way it turns.»

Rachel Cooke, Observer

«An excellent new book. . . . In a nod to the epistolary novel, she addresses her letters to 'Dear Gwen.' It's a risky conceit, but as the intimacy grows - if not with John, then certainly with us - their clarity on the grammars of gender is compelling, and utterly contemporary. Truthfulness does not run one way, any more than power and vulnerability do.»

Drusilla Modjeska, New York Times Book Review

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